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Peter Higgins, author of Wolfhound Century

Myke Cole, author of Shadow Ops Series

John Brown John, translator of the Zamonia Novels

Jim C. Hines author of Libriomancer

Nick Harkaway author of Angelmaker (review here)

Martha Wells author of The Cloud Roads

David Tallerman author of Giant Thief

Mazarkis Williams author of The Emperor's Knife

Rob Ziegler author of Seed

Steven Gould author of 7th Sigma

Douglas Hulick author of Among Thieves (review here)

Mark Charan Newton author of Nights of Villjamur (review here)

Kameron Hurley author of God's War (review here)

Brent Weeks author of The Black Prism (review here)

Anthony Huso author of The Last Page (review here)

Brandon Sanderson author of The Way of Kings (review here)

Lou Anders Editor of Pyr Books

Ian Tregillis author of Bitter Seeds (review here)

Sam Sykes author of Tome of the Undergates (review here)

Benjamin Parzybok author of Couch (review here)

Kristine Kathryn Rusch author of Diving Into the Wreck (review here)

Ken Scholes author of Lamentation

Cherie Priest author of Boneshaker (review here)

Lev Grossman author of The Magicians (review here)

Character Interviews

Alexia and Lord Maccon from Gail Carriger's Soulless

Lord Akeldama from Gail Carriger's Soulless

Eva Forge from Tim Akers's The Horns of Ruin

Atticus from Kevin Hearne's Hounded


The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett

A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson

Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn

Cold Days by Jim Butcher

Year Zero by Rob Reid

Alif: The Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

Scourge of the Betrayer by Jeff Salyards

Redshirts by John Scalzi

Control Point by Myke Cole

Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway
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REVIEW | Machine Man by Max Barry

Scientist Charles Neumann loses a leg in an industrial accident. It's not a tragedy. It's an opportunity. Charlie always thought his body could be better. He begins to explore a few ideas. To build parts. Better parts.

Max Barry has developed a style of skewering corporations. With Company he tackled the absurdity of office politics and in Jennifer Government what it means to become a company drone. Barry's latest pushes things further in a more personal yet funny manner.

The Singularity is closer than we all think. Our bodies are becoming more malleable or at least we're forcing them to be, but where will that progression push us? Machine Man explores this desire to improve one's self. Where do you start? Where do you end? How far are you willing to push or sacrifice? It all starts with an accident in the lab that turns Charles, an aloof guy, into a man bent on improving his body.

Machine Man is much darker book than Barry's last few efforts. This is partly because of the some times gruesome events Charles puts himself through. Yet it also stems from the selfishness of the main character who I guess you'd describe as having large social inadequacies. But he is also a technical genius. Even though I found it hard to like or even empathize with the main character the story permeated my mind so much I couldn't wait to get back into it. Almost like watching a car accident in progress. You can't turn away until you learn how it ends.

Machine Man is a very matter-of-fact story. Barry even goes as far to name characters after their traits such as Neumann. Get it? So much of what happens is a foregone conclusion. There were problems with the female love interest. She was left too unformed until the end where it just seemed tacked on.

Seeing the technologies evolve and the incremental steps that brings Charles to the end point was well done and enthralling. Everything is all too feasible right down to the money hungry corporation and science lackeys willing to try anything after watching what their mentor goes through.

Alternative Cover Not Used
Filled with geek and cringe-worthy humor Machine Man is a delightfully screwed-up little book. Barry tells it in a very believable manner with flawed characters in a world that seem like it is just next week. I give Machine Man 8 out of 10 Hats. While not as laugh-out loud as Company, Machine Man has its moments and offers up some nice commentary about where the world is headed and the decisions we must face.

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louise said...

Weird, the same day I see this post, I notice that my work (Goodreads) hosted a Q&A in video form with Max: